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Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 21 June 2018

Marcus Berg says Al Ain will 'do our best' to complete historical league-and-cup double

  • Sweden striker on target twice in 6-0 rout of Shabab Al Ahli in President's Cup semi-final
  • Al Ain already wrapped up AGL title with a round to spare
  • Face Al Wasl in next month's cup final
<p>Marcus Berg scored twice in Al Ain&#39;s 6-0 win over Shabab&nbsp;Al Ahli&nbsp;Dubai in their President&#39;s Cup semi-final to take his season tally to 31 in 33 appearances. Victor Besa / The National</p>
<p>Marcus Berg scored twice in Al Ain&#39;s 6-0 win over Shabab&nbsp;Al Ahli&nbsp;Dubai in their President&#39;s Cup semi-final to take his season tally to 31 in 33 appearances. Victor Besa / The National</p>

Al Ain striker Marcus Berg says his dominant side will do everything to secure the double after they sealed their place in the President’s Cup final in stunning fashion.

The Garden City club put to the sword Shabab Al Ahli Dubai in the semi-final on Wednesday night, going 2-0 up after nine minutes at the Mohammed bin Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi before eventually winning 6-0.

Coming only four days after Al Ain were crowned Arabian Gulf League (AGL) champions with one round to spare, it set up next month’s showpiece against Al Wasl. The date has yet to be confirmed, but Zoran Mamic’s men will go into the match as favourites, as they attempt to win the UAE top flight and the President’s Cup in the same season for the first time in the club’s history.

“I don’t know what to say,” said Berg, who scored one goal and created two more against Shabab Al Ahli Dubai. “We continue in the good way. We know that we have the quality to win every game.

“But we showed our quality once again, against a strong opponent. It’s the semi-final and the opponents do everything to beat us. We were lucky to score two early goals, which was very important in this game. In the end it was 6-0 and no discussion about who was the best team.”

Al Ain remain on course for a season of unprecedented success, with the cup final to come after this Sunday’s title coronation in the league finale against Al Dhafra. They also have in their sights progression to the Asian Champions League quarter-finals, but have to first negotiate the last-16 double-header with Qatar’s Al Duhail. It takes place on May 8 and 15.

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Berg agreed Al Ain’s victory on Wednesday was especially impressive considering it arrived in the middle of a hectic schedule and so soon after they confirmed the AGL title. However, he said the team’s recent form meant it did not come as that much of a shock.

“A little bit, but still we are professionals,” Berg said. “We know what people ask from us, what we ask from ourselves. And like I said after the last game, we have to show every game how good we are.

“We must continue like this. Now we have a league game on Sunday with a little bit of a celebration with the fans and after that we have the cup final and two important Champions League games. So it’s just to continue like this."

Asked about adding the President’s Cup to the league title already won, Berg said: “It would be amazing, of course. But like I said, now it’s focus on the league game and trying to win that. And after we see the cup final. We’ll do our best to try and take the cup.”

Like Al Ain, Berg is enjoying a fine season. At present, he tops the AGL goalscoring charts with 21 goals, while his penalty on Wednesday lifted his overall tally to 31 in 33 appearances in his debut campaign.

That he also added a couple more assists – he has nine in the AGL alone to sit joint-top of those standings - was additionally pleasing.

“It was a good feeling,” the Swede said. “It’s always important to be on the scoresheet and also to make assists. It’s easy when we play this kind of football. I have to stay in front to try and create chances and be in the right place in the box."